I remember when my children were babies and I would nurse them and rock them to sleep. I would breathe in that wonderful baby smell and hum as I rocked back and forth. Those were some of the most precious moments to me. My children were safe in my arms and all was well with the world.
But babies don't stay little forever. They grow and develop and eventually become young adults. I no longer can keep them safe, nor protect them from a harsh world. In fact, I have no control over anything they do. I can only trust that I raised them right and they will make wise choices. There are times when I feel like I'm on a long, broken road and every obstacle causes me so much anxiety. Yet, as I look back along that broken road, I can see exactly how each obstacle was used by the Lord to make us stronger. As we trusted God, we grew in our faith and we grew closer as a family.
I believe the Lord has a purpose for each of my children. They are unique and have unique talents, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. They are being shaped and molded into adults that can be used by God.
Dan, Emily and I went to visit Stephen yesterday and long car rides are good opportunities to talk and listen. I enjoyed hearing my daughter's thoughts on different subjects and realizing that she has become quite mature and solid in her thinking.
As we took Stephen out to eat, and visited with him, we enjoyed hearing about the different things he is learning. We listened to him and were able to also challenge him and he challenged us too! The thing I enjoy about having adult children is the give and take we now have with them.
Nathan was home because he had to work and he held down the fort here. I was thankful to see that after having a very bad night at work, how quickly he was able to spring back from it. He is getting better at advocating for himself and also working his way through different issues that arise.
Dan and I have done the best we know how. There are times when I feel regretful that we did or didn't do something better, but my children are turning into mature adults. They are compassionate and caring. They are responsible and hard-working. They persevere even in the midst of trials. Those are the traits I believe will help them go far.
I wish there was a parenting manual that would spell out what to do for each situation. Parenting is a long, hard road and it never seems to end. But we trust God, move forward in faith and pray for wisdom. We have three children, all with different health challenges, but with God's help, they are turning into wonderful adults.
That is all I could ever hope for as a parent.